Warren County, NJ General Information

Warren County is divided into twenty three municipalities. The Town of Belvidere is the county seat. The county was separated from Sussex County by an act of the Legislature passed November 20,1824. The first Europeans to settle in the county were the Dutch, who came to Pahaquarry Township and dug for copper around 1650. During this period, they constructed a road from Pahaquarry to Kingston, New York, over which they transported the proceeds of their mining ventures. This road, the first commercial highway built in the United States, is known as "Old Mine Road."

The County of Warren occupies an area of 364.55 square miles, is 32 miles long with an average width of 13 miles, and ranks ninth in size among the state's twenty one counties. Within the county is some of the most rugged and scenic terrain to be found in the state. The landscape is characterized by a series of ridges and valleys in a northeasterly/southwesterly direction. Elevations range from 125 feet to 1,600 feet above sea level. Mountain ranges and ridges which divide fertile river valleys include Kittatinny Mountain, Jenny Jump Mountain, Scott's Mountain and Pohatcong Mountain. Streams and rivers, all emptying into the Delaware River, include the Musconetcong, Paulinskill and Pequest Rivers and the Pohatcong and Lopatcong Creeks. These fertile valleys have enabled the county to become an important agricultural district in the state.

There are 17 districts and individual properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Town of Belvidere, the county seat, is noted for its Victorian style architecture. The town's residents celebrate its heritage annually in its Victorian Day extravaganza. The Warren County Cultural & Heritage Commission organizes the Warren County Heritage Festival in Oxford Township. Reenactments, arts and crafts displays, and musical concerts are among the events that are centered around the Oxford Furnace and Shippen Manor which were built in the 1740's. The county is renovating the Shippen Manor, the ironmaster's home, using state, county and private funds.

Morris Canal remnants can be viewed by participants of an annual bus tour of the 33 miles of the historic canal within Warren County. The county is currently in the process of acquiring canal right-of-way from Main St. Stewartsville to Rt. 22.

In the largest recent development affecting Warren County tax ratables, a consortium of seven regional electric utilities created Merrill Creek Reservoir, a 1.1 square mile reservoir mandated by the Delaware River Basin Commission. This 2,000acre watershed, with its 650 acre, 31 billion gallon reservoir and 290 acre nature preserve open to the public is assessed at more than $190 million.

The Government

County Seat: Belvidere
Government: Class 3, Board of Chosen Freeholders
Board of Chosen Freeholders: 3 members
Constituent Municipalities: 23
1996 Budget: $65,511,754
Warren County Website: http://www.co.warren.nj.us/

Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Wayne Dumont, Jr., Administration Building
165 County Road 519 South
Belvidere, NJ 07823-1949
(908) 475-6500 Fax: (908) 475-6528

Michael J. Doherty, Freeholder Director
John DiMaio, Deputy Freeholder Director
James DeBosh, Freeholder
Steve Marvin, County Administrator

* Meetings held 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Institutions of Learning

The county has seven secondary educational schools, six of which are public, including a county operated vocational technical high school and one is private (Blair Academy). There are two institutions of higher learning in the county which are Centenary College, a four year college, and Warren County Community College, a two year college.

The Warren County Community College was established as a commission in 1981. The student population, as of the fall of 1993, was 265 full time and 920 part time students. The college was initially formed as a school without walls, offering classes at various locations throughout the county.

In 1987, a small building was leased for the college and in 1996 a new permanent facility was opened on Route 57 in Franklin Township. The 175 acre Educational Park contains the Community College, the Vo-Tech School, and the Warren County Communications Center.

The Warren County Vocational and Technical Institute, established in 1959, is located on Route 57 in Franklin Township. In the fall of 1993, it had an enrollment of 326 students in vocational and technical programs. A countywide adult education program is also headquartered at the vo-tech school.

Statistical Items

Population (July 1, 1995 est.) - 96,385
Area (Square Miles) - 364.55
Population Density - 264.4/sq.mi.
Equalized Property Valuation (1995) - $5,659,731,271
State Highway Mileage - 108
County Highway Mileage - 253
Number of Farms (1992) - 700
Average Farm Size - 119 acres
Farmland Preservation:
Development easements purchased (16 farms) - 2400 acres
8 year voluntary program (17 farms) - 2317 acres
Enrollment for future acquisition (75 farms) - 10,000 acres
Per Capita Income (1993) - $22,444
Number of Housing Units (July 1, 1995 est.) - 35,735
Number of Municipalities - 23
Average 1994 Labor Force - 48,900
Average 1994 Unemployment Rate - 5.7%
Number of Manufacturing Firms (Jan. 1, 1996) - 165
Woodland Coverage - 101,060 acres
Major Parks & Forest Conservation Land - 27,915 acres
Internal Lakes/Streams - 5,340 acres
Urban Areas - 36.5 sq. miles

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